It’s a good time to upgrade to an SSD (solid state drive) if you’re still stuck with the mechanical hard disk in your computer. A single SSD in your computer is the biggest upgrade you can give to your computer since the SSDs are much faster compared to the mechanical hard disk since it uses spinning magnetic platters and a moving head.
After upgrading to a SSD, you will be amazed by the overall performance of your computer.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Both SSDs and HDDs do the same job: They boot your system, store your applications and store your personal files. But each type of storage has its own unique feature set. The question is, what’s the difference, and why would a user get one over the other? We shall break it down:
- #1 Price: SSDs are much more expensive than the HDDs in terms of cost per GB offered. Since HDDs are old and much more used by people on a general basis.
- #2 Maximum and Common Capacity: SSD units top out at 4 TB which is very rare and expensive. Recently, Samsung had developed a 16 TB SSD but the price still remains hidden. While HDDs can go upto 20 TB but will be bulky.
- #3 Speed: This is where the SSD shines. An SSD equipped PC can boot up within a minute. The HDD takes much more time to boot up. Copying in HDD is much slower compared to the SSD. Faster is always better!
- #4 Fragmentation: Because of their rotary recording surfaces, HDD surfaces work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks. That way, the drive head can start and end its read in one continuous motion. When hard drives start to fill up, large files tend to scatter around the disk platter which is otherwise known as fragmentation. While read/write algorithms have improved to the point that the effect is minimized, the fact of the matter is that HDDs can become fragmented while SSDs don’t care where the data is stored on its chips since there’s no physical read head. Thus, SSDs are inherently faster.
- #5 Durability: Since SSDs do not have a moving part, they are more likely to keep your data safe, whereas the HDD park their read/write heads when the system is off. But they are flying over the drive platter at hundreds of miles an hour when they are in operation.
- #6 Availability: Hard drives are simply more plentiful. Look at the product lists from Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi, and you’ll see many more HDD models than SSDs. For PCs and Macs, internal HDDs won’t be going away completely, at least for the next couple of years.
HDDs win on price, capacity, and availability. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically, part of speed) are important factors to you. If it weren’t for the price and capacity issues, SSDs would be the winner hands down!